Here are four ads that engage you with a compelling metaphoric story.
Metaphors are about transferring associations from one experience to another. Our brains are metaphorically hard wired which gives well-selected metaphors the power to tap into the unconscious mind, the emotions and values that trigger behaviours.
Volvo...uses the metaphor of a beautifully rendered piece of orchestral music featuring Swedish conductor, Marie Rosenmir. Both the conductor and Volvo passionately attend to small details to realize beauty in life. Just as a world-class conductor uses each component of a piece of music to support the structural integrity so too does Volvo in delivering the technical beauty of the Volvo V40 R-design.
IBM . . . used ‘complex recipes’ and learning as ‘food for the brain’ to introduce super computer Watson and its ability to combine complex ideas. A food truck was hired as the ‘communications vehicle’ and taken to SXSW to ‘nourish’ developers with algorithmically created recipes. The metaphor based event created an enormous appetite with thousands flocking to eat Watson's exotic dishes hungry to learn more.
SoFi . . . uses the deep metaphor of good and evil as a disruptor financial services brand. In the inaugural ad for this California based financial services company SoFi or Social Finance, the agency metaphorically frames traditional banks as man-made, heartless and unseeing giants. The ad taps into the prevailing sentiment about Wall Street in order to differentiate SoFi’s ‘for the people’ offering.
Ikea . . . uses the metaphor of a heavenly container to frame beds as a safe and cozy refuge from the world in this award winning ad. A young woman is slowly dropping from a sky filled with soft fluffy clouds moving from one different shape and size bed to another until she finally ‘falls into her own bed’. The tagline is simply ‘there is no bed like home’. Like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz she is safe at home.
The mastery of the metaphor in all examples tells an engaging brand story and responds to deeply human desires and motivations.